Rome, Italy's capital: presentation
Air France offers cheap flights departing from major airports in the USA to Rome, Italy's administrative capital since 1871, when the country was unified. Today, Rome has a population of 2.6 inhabitants (4.1 including the greater Rome area). It is Italy's most populated city. Located on the Tiber River in the Latium region, not far from the Tyrrhenian Sea, Rome has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers.
The best time to travel to Rome is in spring. You will avoid the smothering summer heat and there will be fewer tourists.
According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus. He was said to have killed his twin brother, Remus. However, according to archeologists, shepherds occupied Mount Palatine as early as the 8th century BC.
Palatine is one of seven hills that dominate the historical center of Rome, along with Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Quirinal and Viminal. For centuries, Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire before it became Constantinople in Turkey. There are many ruins that remain from the glorious period.
Rome's heritage is the result of its rich, long history. Starting with the monuments from ancient Rome, such as the various forums (Romanum, Trajan and Imperial). However, one of the finest symbols of Rome is no doubt the Coliseum which majestically rises in the heart of the city. During the Roman Empire, gladiators fought before 80,000 spectators. The Pantheon, the Capitol, Caracalla thermal baths and the Marcellus theater also date back to this period.
Rome also has many Baroque style buildings and squares, such as the Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Campigdolia, etc.
Of course, you cannot go to Rome without visiting the Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church which houses many sacred areas dating back to the Renaissance, beginning with the impressive Saint Peter's Basilica, which dominates the same-name square where the Pope frequently says mass. The Sistine Chapel, which was entirely painted by the famous artist, Michelangelo, is where the Papal conclave is still held today.
Although Rome has an extremely rich historical heritage, the city is also worth visiting for its gastronomy: pasta, pizza and Chianti await you at reasonable prices in the popular, animated Trastevere district.
When you arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Airport , located 20 miles from the city center, there are two solutions to reach the city: the bus, the least expensive solution (about 6 euros for an hour's trip) or the Leonardo express, a train that takes a half-hour to reach Rome's Termini train station for 14 euros. You can also take a taxi.
US citizens traveling to Italy need a valid passport and do not require a visa if staying less than 90 days. Italy is a member of the European Union and the local currency is the euro.